There is no one, right way to creating the perfect farmhouse kitchen, but certain materials, aesthetics, and accessories will give you that desired rustic yet elegant look. From Tuscan or French to All-American, this classic style draws inspiration from a variety of styles. Here are a few tips and trends to follow when designing your new farmhouse kitchen.

Cabinets

Traditional farmhouse kitchens have light base colors such as white, cream, or gray. If you are going for a more modern look, navy and sage are also popular colors for cabinets. According to hgtv.com, shaker style cabinets are the most universal, making them easy to customize to your tastes by incorporating unique hardware and adding glass-front doors, a popular design feature. You may also choose to extend the cabinets all the way up to the ceiling for extra storage or do floor to ceiling cabinets for an accent wall.

Open shelving is also an option common in farmhouse kitchens, allowing you to showcase kitchenware or accessories that will accentuate the space. If you opt for this more open feel, look for materials such as natural woods that bring the outside in.

Islands

Kitchen islands can provide additional countertop space as well as seating, but are not necessary to making your kitchen complete. Deborah Pierce, Principal at Pierce Lamb Architects in West Newton, Massachusetts says “kitchens should have an extra 11 x 11 feet of space to accommodate and island.” She adds that islands should be “no smaller than 4 ft long and 2 ft deep”. If your dream farmhouse kitchen allows for an island, you can use the same cabinetry as your wall cabinets in the same color for a more cohesive look.

If you like to mix it up, an island in a contrasting or accent color adds a more modern element to the farmhouse style. If you do not have the room for an island, but want additional prep space, a peninsula or a moveable cart are great options as well.

Countertops

Kitchen countertops should be functional and durable, but that doesn’t mean you should sacrifice style! To achieve the farmhouse look, there are many different kinds of materials to choose from. For a more rustic and lived-in feel, butcher block countertops are popular and ideal. They can withstand any chopping or cutting and can easily be repaired using mineral oil to buff out any scratches or burns.

Marble and soapstone countertops fit nicely into a more classy farmhouse style kitchen, depending on the specific look you are going for. Marble is beautiful, light in color and perfect for baking enthusiasts, but much more expensive. Soapstone is easy to maintain, dark in color and will continue to darken over time, creating the perfect contrast to lighter cabinets. If your taste is more modern, concrete countertops are also a great option. They can be created in a variety of colors, have a sleek finish and will last a lifetime.

Flooring

The kitchen is often considered the heart of the home, so it’s important to make sure your floors can withstand all the wear and tear of heavy traffic. Houzz.com offers two basic options that will create the perfect farmhouse-style kitchen are wood or tile. Solid hardwood floors can be sanded down and refinished to eliminate any scratches, but are not the best option for kitchens as they’re not as water-tight.

Engineered hardwood, or laminate, is a less expensive option and more water-resistant, but any imperfections the incur cannot be buffed out. To really capture the rustic farmhouse look, barn plank floors are a budget-friendly choice and very authentic. The planks are generally wider and offer unlimited styling options.

Tile floors are popular in slate or ceramic and the colors are endless. Slate tiles can be randomly placed for a natural cobblestone effect, but prone to scratches and stains. Ceramic will be your best option if you want low maintenance and foresee lots of wear.

Vinyl is cost-efficient and offers a wide variety of looks such as tile, wood, or stone. If you’re feeling adventurous, cork or brick floors will be a standout feature sure to set your kitchen apart from all the rest.

Sinks

You can’t have the perfect farmhouse kitchen without a farmhouse sink! This is what ties the entire look together and is often a standout piece. The apron on the front is what distinguishes it as farmhouse-style and is much deeper than the average kitchen sink. They are available in single or double-bowl and come in all kinds of colors and textures. Porcelain is the most popular material and goes well with light or dark cabinets but tends to show discoloration after time. Fireclay looks like porcelain but is more durable and resistant to chipping. It’s also pricey, but there’s a good chance it will never need replaced.

If your kitchen has more of a modern farmhouse vibe, stainless steel is clean and sleek yet affordable. If you’re going for a mix of rustic and modern, copper is a fun twist with its hammered finish and natural patina coloring. Per houzz.com, copper sinks can be created with a patina finish, or you can have it installed and let the finish develop on its own over time.

Farmhouse style can be interpreted in many ways and customized to individual tastes. However, there a few universal guidelines to keep in mind as you begin your kitchen remodel. First and foremost, the space should be functional. From the layout to the design, keep in mind how you use the room you have and go with what works best for you. Additionally, it’s important to be cost-effective, but not cheap. Investing in high quality materials will keep your kitchen looking nice and in good condition for many years to come.

Finally, to stay in line with the farmhouse look, incorporate accessories that will add to it such as mason jars, glass canisters, and galvanized metals. At the end of the day you should have fun, showcase your personality and enjoy your brand new farmhouse kitchen!